(A Tribute to Mrs Jan Harkey)

Sunday morning it was raining and we came into the back entrance of the Cambria Baptist Church, of Cambria MI.(this is the church we joined when Ken retired) which takes us through the secretary’s office and then through the small chapel where the children’s church meets each Sunday.

I can not express the joy and praise that filled my heart as we came into the chapel door and I saw, Jan Harkey, the pastor’s wife, working hard writing an outline on the white board, and very obviously well prepared for the task of ministering to the Childrens’ Church (over 35 years, we found out later). She has many faithful helpers, too.

This lady of God, is a precious example of unselfish faithfulness to the ministry that she has been called. She has the dedication to study and prepare visual aids, and everything else that goes into a ministry like this. I don’t know how many years she has been at it, but certainly a long time. A few weeks ago the youth pastor, Jeremy Harrington, who grew up in the church and attended those children’s church sessions, mentioned how much he learned from “Marm Harkey” in Children’s Church.

What a joy it is to me as one who has taught for many years myself and used some of the same materials as Jan Harkey is using, [CEF, Footsteps of Faith, The Life of Christ, Betty Lukens.] I divided mine up with my daughters and grand-daughters a few years ago when I wasn’t able to use them any longer and I didn’t want them to go to waste.  I am aware of the dedication and preparation that is required to be able to present these materials faithfully year after year.

I am so thankful for those faithful teachers every Sunday who truly dedicate themselves to teaching the Word and putting the time and preparation that is necessary to truly present the Gospel, bathe those students in prayer and live a fine Christian life before them.

Also, the follow-up that goes into that type of ministry is important too.  A little note here and there, and all the prayers for those students God has entrusted to you.

A few weeks ago our son Ken preached a message:

07/27/2008 11:00 AM    The Eternal Weight of Glory    Ken Pierpont     Series: Beating Burnout
2 Corinthians 4:16-18, with a challenge to Christian to step up and be faithful.

I encourage you to go to this sight and listen to this message if you are a teacher or someone who should be.


As a young person, I also had some wonderful teachers, my pastor’s wife Mary Robbins,  I learn so very much from her about Christian living, and Shirley Summers who took our class to her home once a month for the quarter, to build a replica of the tabernacle and all it’s appointments. We even make the curtains by weaving the colors into fabric and carved the furnishings, etc. from balsa wood. The time she invested was a tremendous help to me, as a young Jr. High student, to understand the Scriptures.

Please consider now,…  is God calling you to the ministry of teaching?

Even though we are retired from the Pastorate per-say we are by no means retired from full time Christian service as God gives us the strength.  The desire is still there and God helping us, that is what we want to do.

II Timothy 2:15
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of God.”

Isaiah 28:9-10 (King James Version)
King James Version (KJV)

9.  Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.

10.  For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:


  1. I had just googled Pastor Don Harkey’s name and your’s was the first website that came up. I thought I’d leave a comment and tell you that I was in Children’s Church under Jan’s teachings in the mid 1970’s. It is why I am in the children’s ministry now and I am married to a children’s pastor. We visited Michigan a few years back and stopped by to see the Harkeys whom I hadn’t seen since the 70s, they still remembered me! She gave me her CEF missionary story collection and I divided it between my sister ( a pastor’s wife) and myself and they are still being used today. Jan is a wonderful woman who has truly blessed so many children with the joy she has for her Lord.

  2. I wanted to add this comment of a dear friend of mine… who sent an email of comment on this article…

    Dear Friend,

    I’d like to tell you what the Lord has done for me. I grew up in a loving home, and was taken to Sunday school faithfully each week with my mom and my sisters. The lady that led the Sunday school department really loved the Lord, and really loved the kids. Each week she had such exciting stories to tell us and wonderful songs to sing. Her name was Mrs. Benton. Mrs. Benton seemed sooooo old to me! Well, I was only four years old, and she had gray hair. In my little mind, that’s all it took. Then, one Mother’s Day Sunday, she brought her MOTHER to our children’s Sunday School. I just couldn’t conceive that someone so old had a MOTHER!! Anyway, she taught us such wonderful stories about Jesus, and taught us about how much He loved us, and about Him dying on a cross for our sins. Wow. That just seemed amazing to me! Anyway, from those wee beginnings, I became very aware of God, and that He had a part in my life, and a plan for my life.

    When I was about 10, I went to a revival service. I remember the preacher talking about how we all needed an antidote for our sin. and Jesus was that antidote. When the invitation was given at the end of the service to come forward and ask Jesus into our hearts, I went gladly. I wanted to be forgiven of my sin. I remember my sister came and prayed with me, as well as my Sunday School teacher at the time we all called “Aunt Sarah.” I came away knowing that I had been forgiven, and felt a new peace in my heart.

    As I grew though my teen age years and then on into adulthood, there were many times when I felt the need to rededicate my life to Jesus. I always wanted to live a committed life for Him. Many times my walk with Jesus has had bumps and detours and climbs and slips, but God has always been faithful, every step of the way.

    I encourage you to take this step of faith yourself, and commit your life to Jesus. You will never regret it, and He will never leave you nor forsake you!!


Leave a Comment